Date: 12th April 2011 at 3:13pm
Written by:

Cardiff City boss Dave Jones has a tricky decision to make ahead of tonight’s crunch clash away at relegation threatened Sheffield United with mercurial midfielder Jason Koumas clearly pushing for a starting place follwoing his late heroics in the victory at Doncaster Rovers.

Clearly, one outstanding free-kick and a counter attack second does not make up for a season of frustration and disappointment for Koumas but his team-mates, manager and the fans have now witnessed a huge positive for the on-loan Wigan player and with his confidence high, his added creativity could prove crucial in the run-in.

Bellamy, Whittingham and Bothroyd were all on the pitch as we won a free-kick – but Koumas was given the nod, surely a testament to his improved fitness and performance in training – I can’t see Bellamy passing up the opportunity otherwise.

The Koumas late show vindicated Dave Jones’ decision to include the Welshman, in place of on-loan Arsenal youngster Jay Emmanuel-Thomas but given Koumas’ unquestionable talent and new found confidence – Jones will consider a bigger role for him tonight.

That could come in place of Craig Bellamy, who worked his socks off on Saturday and whose knees are put under added strains with 3 games scheduled this week. However, Bellamy is currently utilised in attack meaning a formation change would be needed.

Alternatively, Koumas could come in on either flank. That would mean either a direct replacement for Chris Burke – who actually had a very subdued game despite his opening goal at Donny. Or, switching Peter Whittingham inside to replace Stephen McPhail.

Irishman McPhail has not produced his best form of late, and while he provides a calm and assured presence in midfield, questions arise as to his overall contribution. he offers little in defence, certainly no aerial threat while his lack of pace and attacking intent suggests he is not the creative force he once was.

It seems likely Jones will opt to keep Koumas on the bench, but bringing a hungry and inspired Koumas on with 30 minutes left against a tiring and under pressure Sheffield United is certainly a welcome option for the Bluebirds as we seek a third consecutive victory.